Big news for the State of Israel: The government has outlined a historic and strategic plan that will restore governance and personal safety to the Negev.

Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu convened a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Legalizing the Settlement, and the Economic Development, of the Bedouin Sector in the Negev to discuss the new plan. After a few adjustments, the plan, which will advance legalization of the settlement of the Bedouin population in the Negev for 2023-2025, will be voted on by the government in the next few weeks.

We congratulate Minister Amichai Chikli for his hard work to make this happen, and for insisting months ago, during the coalition negotiations, to take on the complicated task of legalizing Bedouin settlement in the Negev. We also thank Ministers Smotrich and Ben Gvir for their assistance.

There’s a long way to go, but this is a significant step in the right direction.


Meanwhile, recently, we launched the Hebrew-language version of our most recent report, “Virtual Reality: The Myth of Historic Bedouin Villages of the Negev.”

The report examines the factuality – more precisely, reveals the ‘fake’ – behind the Bedouin narrative of historic villages of the Negev for which they demand the State of Israel’s official recognition.

The report, based on analysis of aerial photographs of the Negev dating back to the 1940s, proves that in almost all of the locations currently claimed to be historic villages, not a single tent was erected before the establishment of the State of Israel; the locations were equally barren in the 1950s and 1960s. No tents, no houses – and certainly no villages.

The report has sent shockwaves through Israeli public discourse, and a barrage of attempts and rebuttal and denial from left-wing organizations.

The full English-language version is scheduled for publication later this summer; meanwhile, check out the Executive Summary here.

Heartbreaking: Yuval Eilat’s widow releases cutting statement: “Our lives have been destroyed, and the camel caravan marches on.”

Three weeks after the fatal camel accident that cost Yuval Eilat Uzan his life, a herd of camels was seen roaming the Negev roads this morning. Regavim: “The Ministry of Agriculture’s negligence is a ticking time bomb.”

Just three weeks ago, Yuval Eilat Ozan, a resident of Kibbutz Dvir, was killed when he hit a stray camel while driving to work in Be’er Sheva. This morning, motorists reported on a herd of stray camels roaming the winding roads between Arad and Masada, endangering motorists’ lives. Judith Eilat Ozan, Yuval’s widow, decried the continuing chaos in the south, and criticized the authorities for ignoring the problem.

“Around three weeks ago, our lives and the lives of our beloved Yuval were decimated,” she says in pain. “It’s hard enough to come to terms with this blow and this unnecessary death, but the most shocking thing is to discover that his life and ours are of no importance; we are unprotected, and the caravan of camels continues to walk the roads of the Negev as if nothing happened. More camels, and more accidents, are on the way.”

“We are honest, law-abiding people who have always believed that the authorities should take responsibility for human life and insure people’s safety. This disregard, this abandonment, and the danger of this ongoing threat haunt us constantly. Perhaps if this problem is addressed and the government takes responsibility it will give some meaning to Yuval’s unnecessary and painful death.”

The Regavim Movement, which has been monitoring and addressing the phenomenon of camels roaming the Negev and led the battle for legislation of the 2018 “Camel Law” passed in 2018 by MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Eitan Kabel, notes that the Ministry of Agriculture is dragging its feet and stalling the full implementation of the law, which requires camels to be marked with a subcutaneous chip and imposes criminal liability on owners of wandering camels.

Yakhin Zik, Director of Operations at Regavim, says: “Fatal road accidents involving camels are a shocking phenomenon that must be eradicated. The Ministry of Agriculture has failed to implement the law and has not completed the camel registration and chip-identification that is meant to force owners to keep a close eye on their animals. We are working on an official Knesset plenum query on this matter and we will continue to monitor developments closely.”

Camels seen on 11 May, near Arad and Masada